Monday, October 08, 2012

Arrest, outrage over videotaped lynching of UNIPORT students undergraduates

I am sure we all heard about the story of four UNIPORT students pictured above that were accused of robbery by people of Aluu community on Sunday. They were beaten to death and set ablaze. SAD! watch the video HERE , viewers discretion is advised. Now there are so many stories to the incident, some say they went to meet a friend that was owing one of them money, some say they were cult member that have been terrorizing the community , some say they were armed robbers because they were caught with weapons.We don't know what to believe, but regardless of all these allegations, these young promising boys shouldnt have been killed by the People of Aluu Community.
Continue to read the reports on this from punchng
FOLLOWING the lynching of four students of the University of Port Harcourt, River State, the police have arrested Aluu community leader, Alhaji Hassan Walewa.
The police on Sunday morning stormed Aluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area, where the students were beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob. Our correspodents report that both the beating and the burning were videotaped and the film clip has gone viral on the Internet.
Also arrested by security agents were members of Walewa’s family and some students of the institution, who lived off campus.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the community was deserted when security agents and soldiers stormed the area in search of those who killed the students on Friday. The lynched students were identified as Lloyd, Tekena, Ugonna and Chidiaka. Those who lynched the students reportedly accused  them of stealing laptops and phones.
 Speaking with our correspondent on Sunday, the immediate past President of UNIPORT’s Students’ Union, Mr. Rhino Owhorkire, expressed regrets that some students living within the community had also been arrested by the police.
Owhorkire explained that though the arrest of some members of the community was a welcome development, the arrest of “innocent” students living in the community was unnecessary.
He condemned the gruesome murder of the students, maintaining that the crowd should have handed them over to the police.
Owhorkire said, “We totally condemn the act that was perpetrated by the Omokiri Allu community. We ought to have gone beyond meting out jungle justice to anybody. They claimed the students were robbers, but nobody came out to say his property was stolen.
“We also heard that the students were cult members, who went to collect dues from other members. But the aggrieved colleagues decided to brand them thieves and this attracted some members of the community who killed them. We have been hearing a lot of rumours since the incident.”
He said that the UNIPORT SU had dissuaded students planning from embarking on a protest in Aluu community to shelve the idea in order to allow security agencies to carry out their investigation.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ben Ugwuegbulam, confirmed that some arrests were made in Aluu, adding that any person found not culpable would be released.
According to him, the police are making progress on their investigation based on the information at their disposal.
A source also said the video of how the students were killed was being investigated.
Also, the Public Relations Officer of UNIPORT, Dr. William Wodi, told PUNCH Metro that the university had yet to ascertain if the deceased were students of the university or not.
Wodi said the institution would make its position on the matter known to the public on Monday (today).

Conflicting acounts
Meanwhile, there were conflicting accounts on Sunday on how the students met their deaths. While some insisted that they were robbers, others claimed they were members of a cult. Yet, their friends said they were innocent.  Most of these disclosures were made on the Internet, especially the social media, where the  deceased students’ friends and loved ones also gave vent to their sorrow.
  On Nairaland, a popular  online discussion forum, some of the posters who claimed to be residents of the community where the incident took place insisted that the students were robbers. They claimed that the students were members of a cult group, that had terrorised the community for a long time.
These residents insisted that the students were found with laptops and phones in an uncompleted building, smoking Indian hemp. Villagers who sighted them reportedly informed the vigilance group in the area that some robbers had invaded the community.  According to these posters, the villagers, on getting the information, combed the area, found the students and lynched them.
But other contributors, who appeared to be students of UNIPORT, insisted that the students were not robbers but members of a secret cult.  One of the contributors wrote, “On that fateful day, they went to Aluu village to ‘‘ruffle’’ a particular person who happened to be a rival cult member.
“On getting there, they didn’t meet him at home. So, they decided to relax in a nearby bush.”
He added that it was the rival cult member that went to the vigilance group to allege that the students were armed robbers.
The anonymous contributor added, “Their rivals reported to the vigilante guys that the thieves terrorising the neighbourhood had been spotted.
“Knowing that  if they (the lynched students) were spared, they would retaliate, these rival members, posing as ordinary students, called for the heads of the boys and accused them of orchestrating several robberies in the area. They even arranged for some girls to claim they had been raped.”

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